28 January 2016

IPA: Time Management Tips

I was pretty surprised that no one wanted to watch what they eat for their self-improvement plan. I may have been even more surprised at how many wanted to manage their time better. Not that it's not a good idea, but I thought that was a pretty self-aware step for many of them.

Not to mention a pretty useful idea for pretty much any teenager.

Or teacher.

So for this IPA, I spent a little extra time pondering time management with the IPA and within it. Time management has been an even bigger deal since I experienced the "Kick Back with a Cool IPA" presentation featuring my grad school amiga/guru @SraStephanie (Best of FLANC! Look for it at SCOLT next month!!), especially when it comes to setting up the interpersonal portion for everyone.

Interpretive Reading

I went through my Pinterest board o' organization and attitude and found, as I had with the School Comparisons IPA, a nice little infograph that also had a little more text in the blog around it for students looking to push themselves.

Cómo ponerse las pilas en 3, 2, 1... Psicología y Orientación
My heritage speakers were able to demonstrate Intermediate Mid levels with the blog and the updated interpretation Doc, and over half of my other kiddos logged at least a Novice High performance! They took their time, too--at least an hour for almost everyone.

Plus all of them know how important it is to "dormir bien" to manage time now!

Interpersonal Communication

Once again, I posted general prompts about what to expect to answer questions about:
1) YOUR CURRENT HABITS- exercise/money/time management problems- effective strategies you use
2) YOUR GOALS- ideas from the IPA infograph/blog- other strategy ideas- possible effects of your project

And ASK questions about:
- assignments like the diary, resources, or reflections- opinions on strategies/goals- experience with strategies/goals

I initially liked the idea of using the interpersonal time for them to get clarification on their projects, but they had trouble expressing what they needed for that purpose. I think I need to get them to focus on verifying that they understand the steps of the project.

Also since Sra. Stephanie's presentation, I've been setting up the interpersonal segment differently: as one-on-one interview with yours truly.

The only downside I see--besides a teeny intimidation factor for a few (which I may try to resolve by wearing a silly hat or something on IPA days)--is time. There always seem to be a few interviews I can't get to during the 2 designated IPA days I set aside. And me with my completely reasonable class sizes under 25 too.

So here are my tips for managing interpersonal IPA time:
  1. Don't procrastinate. Circulate, then start the interviews as soon as you see someone working on the "main idea" portion of the interpretive Doc. If you have native speakers, ask them if they'd be comfortable going first (my kiddos have always been very generous about it.) You don't necessarily have to get half done the first day, but your interview load Day 2 should
  2. Keep the conversations under 5 minutes. It doesn't hurt that that's Seesaw's cutoff point for video uploads (and, by the way, Seesaw has proven a GODSEND for video sharing, cutoff times notwithstanding). The five-minute limit also makes you keep moving. And really, who can't get the general idea of someone's performance level in 3-5 minutes?
  3. Grade as you go. I tried keeping track of all types of data and answers with a Google Form when I started the interview process , but really, the AAPPL rubrics (or at least their short forms) are pretty much ingrained in my brain after a year now. So as soon as the conversation ends, I pop the number grade in the Classroom app on my phone and call up the next kid. Plus the kiddos also have their video for a record, too, and if they need more feedback to figure out what to work on, you could always arrange a sitdown to discuss the video.
  4. Lead with "like" questions, cognates, and borrowed words. LIKE - IF they like the text, WHAT they like in the text. COGNATES & BORROWED WORDS - Do you have a PLAN? What TIPS can you USE in your PROJECT?  (Side note: "idea" is not an AURAL cognate.)

Presentational Writing

Almost nobody started their writing on Day 1 this time, and I think they took advantage of seeing the prompt ahead of time. On the one hand, I kind of like that several seemed to have memorized a plan for what they were going to say and a few key (probably translatored) phrases. It shows initiative and that they are making efforts that are paying off. On the other, how clear of a reading of their spontaneous abilities am I getting that way?

I think I might only print the prompt on the paper that they use to write their responses (although some handwriting has me reconsidering the Google Doc option too). I do still like how paper responses makes it easier to add accents. Plus Seesaw worked swimmingly here too! Now they have a clean copy AND my marked up copy! Plus that kid who neglected to hand his paper over? I could still score what he'd uploaded!

Still, I think it really helped me understand their goals and where they were in a LOT of ways, not only to engage in conversation about their personal goals, but also to read their "pep talks" for themselves:
compose a pep talk for yourself at the start of your self-improvement journey. Explain the PROBLEMS you want to work on, the STRATEGIES you are going to try, and the EFFECTS you want to see in your life after one month. Make yourself believe that your goals are not only NECESSARY but POSSIBLE.
I was pretty demanding for a Novice High score for both the conversation and the pep talk, so the majority of my students--who hadn't seen the inside of a Spanish classroom for more than 2 weeks in the last year--were solidly Novice Mid (heritage speakers Novice Low).

So if you're looking to implement this IPA or a similar one, my time management tips to you can mostly be summed up in two tips: start the interpersonal ASAP and keep it moving. Also upload everything to Seesaw.

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